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Bareerah (ra)

Bareerah رضي الله عنها

The story of a slave, who’s story and life is filled with lessons. A woman mentioned in all 6 authentic

books of Ahadith. An indication to us that in the field of Islamic knowledge, honor comes to those who

strive no matter their social standing or position.

Bareerah (ra) was a slave to an affluent family in Madinah. At that time slave owners used to practice

wala. This is when the estate of a freed slave is given to her previous owners. Bareerah (RA) was offered

freedom on these terms, as well as the payment of 9 awqiya of gold.

Being a poor slave, she was unable to afford the payment for freedom and approached Ummul

mu'mineen Ayesha (RA). Ayesha (RA) agreed to pay for her freedom but requested that the owners

forego the condition of Wala. They refused to do so. Ayesha (RA) thereupon informed the Messenger of

Allah (SAW) about what was transpiring. He (SAW) then addressed the Sahaba from the pulpit,

reprimanding them for adding their own compulsions onto people.

Bareerah (RA) was then freed but she chose to remain in the household of Ayesha (RA) and Nabi (SAW)

thereby observing, learning and partaking in the daily activities of this Mubarak household.

At the time of her freedom Bareerah had been married to another slave named Mughith (RA). Since this

marriage took place during her enslavement, she was given the choice of separation from Mughith once

she was freed. Bareerah (RA) chose to separate from him.

Mughith used to then follow her with tears streaming down his cheeks, begging her to take him back.

Once Nabi (SAW) asked her, does she not want to go back to Mughith (RA). She enquired if this was a

command or suggestion. Nabi (SAW) said that it was a suggestion, and Bareerah chose to stay apart

from Mughith (RA).

From this one incident so many lessons are learnt. We learn of the fact that Nabi (Saw) offered her a

choice of separation, even though she had a child with Mughith (RA). He (SAW) did not force her to stay

with him. And we learn of the obedience of Bareerah (RA), that if it was the command of Nabi (SAW) she

would have obeyed even though she disliked it.

Once the Messenger of Allah returned home to find that food had been cooked but the meat was

removed from his portion. On inquiry it was mentioned that meat was given to Bareerah(RA) as charity

and since charity wasn’t permissible for the household of Nabi (SAW) it was removed. He (SAW) then

said that although it was charity for her, it was a gift for the rest of the family.

This indicates that even though charity can be given to one individual, they can then gift it to others.

Bareerah (RA) continued her life in the servitude of Ayesha (RA) and at the time of the incident of Ifk

Nabi (SAW) enquired from her regarding Ayesha (RA). Being a modest yet extremely intelligent woman,

not wanting to vocalize her opinion on the innocence of Ayesha (RA) directly, she says “ By Allah I do not

know anything but good regarding Ayesha (RA). The only thing is when she makes dough, she goes to

sleep and then the goats eat it”. In this manner she indirectly says that if Ayesha (RA) can’t look after

dough, where will she be able to look after a big secret like an affair. It was after this that Nabi (SAW)

addressed the Sahaba (RA) about spreading the rumors and hurting his family.


The lessons learnt from the life of Bareerah (RA) are an important sign to us, teaching us that our social

status, wealth, race , marital status or gender are all unimportant if we have the fear of Allah, obedience

to his Messenger and desire for knowledge in our heart.

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